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Region to further boost growth up to 2020 and beyond

KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Economic Region (ECER), which has drawn investments to the tune of RM72.26bil since 2007, has been given a flush of new investments, ranging from millions of ringgit to more than a billion, to further boost its growth up to 2020 and beyond.

The new investment commitments were announced after the fourth quarter meeting of the East Coast Region Development Council, which was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Parliament House here yesterday.

He was present at the event to announce the investments with the ECER business partners.

They include investment commitments worth RM3.57bil by 16 companies, including eight beneficiaries of the Bumiputra Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju).

The investments cover manufacturing (RM25.48mil), tourism (1.35bil), construction (RM84.09mil), agriculture (RM24.14mil), education (RM9.87mil), bio-economy (RM80mil) and oil, gas and pertrochemicals (RM1.99bil).

These investments are expected to create 5,858 new jobs, ECER said in a statement.

The event also witnessed the appointment of three anchor companies to operate and manage large-scale commercial agricultural projects in the region, which covers Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the Mersing district in Johor.

The companies are Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd, which will be investing RM30mil (to create 100 satellite farms), Genetic Improvement and Farm Technologies Sdn Bhd investing RM10mil (sheep breeding programme) and CDC Integrated Herbal Farm Sdn Bhd investing RM20mil (herbal products).

ECER and Maybank Islamic Bhd also launched the RM110mil ECER-Maybank Entrepreneurship Scheme to spur development of some 6,000 local entrepreneurs by 2020.

The scheme will see RM10mil used to top up profit rate charges while RM100mil will be used for business financing.

“The move is expected to benefit 2,000 micro and small-medium sized enterprises in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing by 2015.

“The collaboration will continue under the 11th Malaysia Plan, where it is expected to benefit some 6,000 enterprises in the ECER by 2020,” according to the statement.

The ECER Council said since 2007, the region had created more than 73,200 jobs.

The investments of RM72.26bil that had been achieved so far represents 66% of the council’s target of RM110bil by 2020.-thestar

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